And now the music mogul and X Factor veteran has hit back with a very telling interview. Speaking to The Sun, Cowell claims that he parted ways with both Little Mix and shamed Sir Philip Green to clear toxic people out of his life.
The 59-year-old told the tabloid that he was ’embarrassed’ over the rumoured claims that Little Mix had fallen out with Syco over the label’s alleged unreasonable demands.
“The only reason I got annoyed was that it’s easy to paint this picture of Syco as this dark, awful place where all we’re trying to do is rip artists off and make them unhappy.
“I suppose why I am glad I’m talking to you guys today — at least I can tell you what really happened,” he began.
He went on to allude that Little Mix thought they were ‘more important’ than Syco’s staff members.
“It was just embarrassing but, funnily enough, I was more annoyed, again, not about me, but about the fact people who had worked so hard in my company were being misrepresented.
“Why do artists think they’re more important than staff members? They’re not. They’re the same.
“The irony was the record they were arguing about, which is Woman Like Me, they didn’t want to record. This was one of those ironic times that we were having a hit and nobody was happy.”
And despite Little Mix serving as the label’s most successful act, Cowell denies the split is just about the money.
“It wasn’t down to money. Basically, they said we’d done a terrible job. I had agreed not to talk about this publicly because I thought it was a private matter. I said, ‘We can’t work with the management, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
He said he planned on meeting the band face-to-face to clear the air, and that despite the split, there have never been harsh words exchanged between parties.
“I can show you all the correspondence between me and the girls over the years, there’s never been an instance when we’ve fallen out. As I said in my email to them, I stand by the fact they are the hardest working bunch of girls I’ve ever worked with. They deserve everything they’ve got,” he confirmed.
And as for Sir Philip Green, Cowell claims to have parted ways business wise with the shamed fashion mogul several years ago. The pair were once close friends, and even went on holidays together.
“He was part of the company but three years ago we just stopped talking. When it came to severing the ties, I wasn’t arguing about the money. You simply make a decision of who you want in your life and your business and it was my decision,” he explained.
Cowell even opened up about X Factor’s record low ratings this year, and said he hopes he can eventually pass the show onto his 4-year-old son Eric.
“My perspective on life is slightly different than it used to be. I used to be really competitive, read the ratings and have white knuckles. Now I find it funny.
“At the end of the day I always go back to Eric, who will hopefully one day be running these shows — one day, please God. But our ratings with young people are up and everyone wants Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson to come back.”
X Factor continues on ITV at 8.35pm on Saturday.